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"Internal combustion is such old science. Bubble travel is the way of the future!"

Bubbles - the most fragile, light and transitory of objects. They aimlessly flutter through the air at the whim of a merest breeze, and vanish into nothingness at the merest touch. Hey, let's use them as a form of transportation!

You seem a little apprehensive, so let me clue you in on something: on the inside of a bubble, gravity vanishes. Things just bob around in there, having somehow become as weightless as the bubble itself. Don't worry, it's perfectly safe!

The only tricky part is getting out of the bubble once you get in. For some bizarre reason, people put in bubbles tend to find themselves completely unable to get themselves out, no matter how hard they batter the inside of the bubble. It must be a side effect of zero gravity or something.

Oh? How do we get in? Well, we just get a bubble about ten feet in diameter, and... what? What do you mean, impossible? Well, I suppose we'll just have to shrink down to a few inches and use a normal-sized one, then.

What? How do we steer it? Why, isn't it enough to just go wherever the wind takes you? Is your spirit really tied down to such weighty stones as "appointments" and "street numbers" and "deadlines" and -

-fine, go take a taxi, then.

See also Sphere Factor.


Examples of Floating in A Bubble include:


Anime & Manga

  • The Shabaody Archipelago of One Piece fame has bubble-transport as its "Hat". Justified in universe by the trees secreting a resin that makes bubbles highly resilient, but only in the immediate area of the islands.
  • The Six-Tailed Jinchuuriki of Naruto obscurity used bubbles both for this and as offensive weapons.
  • In Pokémon the First Movie Mew and Mewtwo both use this technique to batle each other.


Film

  • This happens to the protagonists of Honey We Shrunk Ourselves.
  • Used by Glinda the Good in the film version of The Wizard of Oz.
  • Meet the Robinsons features bubbles as a form of public transportation in the future.
  • On Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket gets caught inside a bubble underwater. He punctures it trying to retrieve his hat (which is in a different bubble) and it starts filling up with water. best not to dwell too much on it.
  • Timothy Mouse on Dumbo gets caught up in the bubbles Dumbo makes after getting drunk.
  • The stonefish seen during this part of the song "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid:

 Down here all the fish are happy

'Cause beneath the waves they roll

The fish on the land ain't happy

Because they are in de bowl

But fish in the bowl are lucky

They be in for worser fate

'Cause one day the boss gets hungry

Guess who's gonna be on de plate?


Literature

  • Bubbles the Dog gets transported into Xanth this way. (A Wizard Did It, sort of; Piers Anthony decided to immortalize one of his beloved pets into his book series.)
  • Appears in Patrick O'Leary's The Gift.


Theatre

  • Glinda travels in a bubble in Wicked.


Video Games

  • Bubble Bobble, and sequels Bubble Symphony and Bubble Memories: how the protagonists travel between levels and how enemies are on the way to being defeated.
  • In The Fairyland Story (by the same company who made Bubble Bobble), when you die, you get swept away into a bubble.
  • Used by Mario in Super Mario Land 2 and Super Mario Galaxy.
    • And also in New Super Mario Bros Wii as a means of avoiding death and/or re-entering the level in multiplayer. Just don't have everyone go into a bubble at once...
  • Super Mario World 2: Yoshis Island has Baby Mario enter a bubble when he's knocked off Yoshi's back. Some transformation powerups are also kept in bubbles.
    • Yoshi's Story, the sequel, features prizes stuck in super-rubbery bubbles that only projectiles can break.
      • You can actually break the bubbles using only Yoshi's body if you bump into them or jump on them enough times. It takes a while, but can be done.
    • Any baby character in Yoshi's Island DS if knocked off Yoshi's back.
    • In the original Super Mario World, bubbles could contain a floating Goomba, Bob-Omb or mushroom, and tended to pop without being touched.
  • This can happen to Wario in the Wario Land series.
  • Bubbled objects in Kirby Squeak Squad are sent to Kirby's stomach, which functions as an inventory.
  • The Infocom adventure Trinity had this.
  • Mew in Pokémon Snap, Super Smash Bros Melee and Brawl.
  • The Latheon Gorge segment of Tales of Symphonia is navigated by use of wind-blowing flowers and a magic ring that (among other things) encases the characters in a bubble.
  • In Banjo-Tooie the only way to get in and out of Cloud Cuckooland is via bubble.
  • Draco Cantus will often send a Neku-seeking bubble during it's boss fight, and unless Neku doesn't pop it in time, it'll get popped by the boss, taking what can be a nasty amount of health off. Interestingly, before the fight, Shiki and Beat are captured this way by a fused Kitaniji/Joshua.
  • Lost Vikings has bubbles that vikings can use as a transportation device. The bottom part of the bubble acts as a tiny platform.
  • Touhou has Patchy's spell card, Water Sign "Jellyfish Princess", which creates a protective bubble for Patchy to float around in. When it's used by the actual player, the bubble doesn't cause her to float, acting as more of a general barrier for defense.
  • The Mega Man Battle Network series introduces this as a status effect of sorts in the sixth game, where it paralyzes the victim, and causes them to take doubled damage from electrical attacks. It also had the Bubble Wrap chip which provided a regenerating bubble shield that could absorb a single hit of damage whenever it was up, but wouldn't regenerate if struck with electricity.


Western Animation

  • In an episode of Disney's Winnie the Pooh, Pooh got trapped inside a bubble. He didn't float around inside it, though.
  • Bender's Big Score had an improbably cute version during the dating montage with Lars & Leela.
  • Used to a ridiculous extent in The Brave Little Toaster Goes To Mars. The baby is in a bubble on Mars for hours, and neither runs out of oxygen, needs a diaper change, nor milk.
  • Happens regularly on SpongeBob SquarePants: the butterfly 'monster' in "Wormy", Squidward at the end of "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost", Squidward's whole house in "Bubble Stand", and even Spongebob himself in "Fungus Among Us".
    • And let us not forget everyone in Bikini Bottom in "Rodeo Daze."
  • Bubbles are a common mode of transport in The Dreamstone.
  • An episode of Phineas and Ferb had the boys working on a bubble that could be ridden in.
  • Showed up occasionally in My Little Pony. The Sea Ponies could form breathing bubbles around people to stop them from drowning, and Fizzy could make all sorts of bubbles, including a couple times bubbles for floating through the air.


Real Life

  • Truth in Television with the Diving bell spider who spends its whole life underwater by living in a bubble and occasionally coming up for air.
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